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Family Holiday Trip - 2005

Frankston to Adelaide Section: Day One
Frankston to Koroit, Western Victoria

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The drive from Melbourne to Adelaide can be done in around eight to ten hours by following the Western Highway.

Holidays (Vacations) are not for schedules and time tables, so we chose the scenic route along the South West Coast of Victoria for our first day, as shown in blue on the map.

The coastal drive, that includes a section called "The Great Ocean Road", is famous for it's stunning ocean views along the way, shown on the next few pages.

The first part of the coastal drive is known as "The Surf Coast". With its relatively close proximity to Melbourne and many beaches, it's very popular with surfers of all ages.

Even though the day was a little cloudy and overcast, we still saw people surfing here and there.

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The drive along the coast has much to see, including a number of light houses.

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Interstate visitors don't cause many problems, but those from overseas need to be reminded which side of the road to drive on.

The Great Ocean Road was a citizen initiative started in 1919 to provide employment to returned service men from WWI. It was completed in stages using picks and shovels, as men and money were available. Today more than 1.2 million vehicles per year, travel the road enjoying the spectacular scenery. The arch, shown here, was replaced after the original was destroyed by the "Ash Wednesday Bushfires" in 1983.



Not only are the sea views out into Bass Straight stunning, there are many picturesque small towns and villages. Many, like Apollo Bay here, are geared towards tourism with numerous accommodation and eateries available.

There are many tourist operators in the area, including those offering scenic flights.


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These wood carvings of various animals, were in a park in the town of Apollo Bay.

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One of the major attractions of this area, are geological formations known as "The Twelve Apostles".

There has been local debate for years, with many believing there were only originally nine apostles.

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In June of this year, one of the 50 meter high rock stacks crashed into the sea. The process is seen as uncontrollable and part of the natural evolution of the coast line.

A view of the cliff face along the area also known as "The Ship Wreck Coast".

Over the years many vessels have gone down along the coast. Bass Straight, the body of water off the coast, although calm in these pictures, can turn very nasty and unpleasant for sea farers.




As well as "The Twelve Apostles" the coast has a number of these little coves. This one, Loch Ard Gorge is named after the ship Loch Ard that sank just off the coast in 1878. Of the 54 souls aboard, only two survived, cabin boy Tom Pearce, and a passenger Eva Carmichael, who both entered the narrow mouth of the gorge independently of each other. After Tom made sure Eva was safe he clambered up the cliff face in search of help. Both went on to make full recoveries and go their separate ways.


There are also many arches like this one shown here, as well as the other natural features of the coast line.

This arch formation, is known as The London Bridge.

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The "London Bridge" also had a major collapse a some of years ago a section, represented in red on the right hand picture, collapsed into the sea. Tourists out on the end section, had to be rescued by chopper.



Whenever we have gone away, Conda has always found us some great, interesting and economical places to stay. This time was no different.

Our first night, we stayed in what was an old bank in the town of Koroit, near Warrnambool in South Western Victoria.

Once the bank closed, an elderly lady lived there before the current operators took over and fully converted it into a very comfortable place to stay.

The Bank is now a cottage providing all the creature comforts, while still retaining some of the features of its history, including part of the original service counter.

Color television, comfy leather lounge suite and an open fire, made for a very pleasant evening.

The well equipped kitchen was in the old vault.

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The pictures below show the quaint, quite old buildings that are part of the town's streetscape.

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The high standard of comfort and presentation were continued through out the whole cottage.

Frankston to Adelaide Section: Day Two
Koroit, Western Victoria to Mount Gambia, South Australia.

Day two, we left Koroit and headed west, via the coastal towns of Port Fairy and Portland, to Mount Gambier, South Australia.

Part of the lake in the Tower Hill Reserve, between Koroit and Port Fairy. We could see, from the edge of the cliff, groups of emus and water birds down on the lake below.

Another view of the lake at the "Tower Hill Reserve". The signs they had around the area featuring the lake, were obviously taken in earlier times. They showed much higher water levels.

On our trip, we have been able to find some quilt shops for Conda. This one was in Port Fairy.

One of many old churches, this one in Port Fairey, Victoria.

An old cottage in Port Fairy, Victoria.

Most of the buildings in the town had the "quaint yesteryear" look about them.

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Saint John's church, Port Fairy, Victoria. Another fine bluestone building.

Saint John's Church at Port Fairy, had a number of stained glass windows.

Some more pictures of the stain glass windows.

According to the sign, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Victoria, at Port Fairy.

At the very least, the sign looks like it could use a coat of paint!

It should come as little surprise that a feature of Portland is the city's harbor.


Some of the bulk grain carriers leave Port Phillip loaded to capacity that allows them to leave the bay and call in to Portland to top off their loads to maximum capacity.

For our second night's accommodation, Conda found Poppy's Cottage near Mount Gambier, South Australia. The cottage was a contrast to the former bank we slept in the previous night.

Poppy's cottage was well equipped, including the kitchen shown here.


The fire warmed the cottage quickly to a comfortable temperature.

The comfortable bed, the same size as we have at home seemed bigger without any cats!

Frankston to Adelaide Section: Day Three
Mount Gambia to Kingston, South Australia.

We only drove a short distance, from Mount Gambier to Kingston, both in South Australia, on day three.

The short distance of about 160 kilometers, (100 miles) allowed time for sightseeing along the way. I had never visited this area before, so I really enjoyed it.

The Centenary Tower atop Mount Gambier. The tower was opened in 1904 to commemorate the first sighting of Mount Gambier, by Lt. Grant from the vessel, Lady Nelson, in 1800.



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The sign said a steep climb and they were not kidding.

After reaching the the lookout at the base of the Centenary Tower, the steep climb is emphasized, looking back to the car below.

Browne's Lake, at Mount Gambier, from the lookout at the Centenary Tower.

Valley Lake, also seen from the lookout at the base of the Centenary Tower, Mount Gambier.

The rich farmland around Mt. Gambier, from the lookout at the base of the Centenary Tower.

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After the tower, we headed for a local animal sanctuary. On the lawns out side the sanctuary, these black swans with their signets were only too happy to take food for passing visitors.

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This native duck was content to sit and watch us, as we passed by.

One of the many kangaroos inside the wildlife park.

Breakfast in bed... here a joey snacks on grasses from the comfort of mum's pouch.



We saw many animals in the park, but probably missed many more. From time to time, we would only see an animal by chance as it sat in the bush. Many were quite close but sitting still, with their natural surroundings providing camouflage.

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It was a "warmish day" when we visited the wildlife park, but I didn't consider swimming in the ponds or streams we saw. The tortoises that were there didn't bother me.

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I didn't fancy swimming with the 4 foot Red-Bellied Black snake (very poisonous) that was swimming near one of the board walks.

One of the highlights of Mount Gambier:
The Blue Lake.

The blue color of the lake changes to different shades of blue throughout the year

Pictures don't do justice to the blue color of the lake. I can't begin to describe the area.

If you would like to know more about The Blue Lake or The Mount Gambier area, click on the link below :




A full sized replica of the vessel "Lady Nelson", from where Mount Gambier was first observed by a Lt. Grant in 1800. If this vessel ever tried to go to sea, it would be without me. Unfortunately, the rudder assembly was starting to fall away from the hull, due the to rot that had attacked it.

Another great accommodation for the night in Kingston, South Australia, where we spent our third night. This place was listed as "a cottage" on the internet when we booked it. It turned out to be a quite a large and very comfortable house.

The cottage was clean, spacious and bright throughout. The owner of the house told us that the original owners had been a fisherman and his wife. There was a shower in the laundry (utility room) that the fisherman had to use before entering the house.

A very large living room, with older styled decorating.

The bright sunroom was created by glazing in the back veranda.

Frankston to Adelaide Section: Day Four
Kingston, to Adelaide, South Australia.

Day four was another short hop of only about 300 kilometers (185 miles).

Kingston S.E. where we started the day, is a small seaside town dating back to 1885. Situated on Lacepede Bay, it is open to the Southern Ocean and provides great fishing that is central to the town's economy. Before we left on our day's journey, we spent a little time touring the town. Adelaide is the state capital of South Australia, and our destination.

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The historic "Cape Jaffa" lighthouse was originally located south of the town, until replaced by a modern automated lighthouse in 1972.

On the day we arrived, the beaches of Lacepede Bay were covered with seaweed and kelp, washed up from the Southern Ocean.

Seafood is central to the town's economy. The are many places selling it, including this kiosk near the pier.

One of the many old stone buildings in Kingston.

An old bank that appears to have been converted to accommodation, similar to the one in Koroit.

The Royal Mail Hotel, Kingston S.E. The signs said famous for their "seafood", although I wasn't impressed when we had dinner there.

The Giant Lobster guards the entrance to Kingston S.E. Like some other parts of the town, the Giant Lobster looked like it could do with a good cleaning and coat of paint.

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During the 1850s, settlers reported finding a black rubbery, bitumen-like substance in the country around the small town of Salt Creek. The substance called "coorongite" appeared in swampy land after the winter floods had dried.

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It was used by settlers for fire lighters or in lamps.

The coorongite suggested the presence of oil below and drilling was tried.

Their efforts were in vain, no oil existed there.

A picture of one of the salt pans we saw on our journey between Kingston and Adelaide.


The shores of Lake Albert at Meningie, a small town in we stopped for lunch. I find it strange to see the large amount of "muddy looking" water when I'm used to seeing clear blue waters around Australia.

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The road signs told us how far we had to go.

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Sometimes the distances seemed to take forever to cover, although we didn't travel that far today.

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The old Tailem Bend railway station has been converted into a rail museum and information center.

Like so many former workhorses, this old steam locomotive has ended its days as a toy for children of all ages, in a park at Tailem Bend.

The Murrary River, seen from the banks of the wharf at Murray Bridge. The Murray as well as being popular for houseboats and other aquatic activities, also provides much of Adelaide's drinking water.

The rail bridge, crossing the Murray River at the town of "Murray Bridge", South Australia. The Murray is one of Australia's major rivers, forming part of the border between two states, before flowing through South Australia and into the sea.

The area around the wharf at Murray Bridge looked like an old abandoned rail yard.

This old steam locomotive is sitting on some of the sanded over rails.